Women in The Odyssey

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In Greek Mythology, women were either very fierce or very weak. Women were usually defined by wits, beauty, or bad deeds. In The Odyssey women were not in the background. On the contrary, women were powerful. They charmed and controlled men, provided wisdom, and took care of them. The Odyssey appears to be strongly female based. Penelope is the wife of Odysseus who is the king of Ithaca. When Odysseus is called off to the Trojan War Penelope shows great faithfulness and wit. She stays faithful to her husband and waits for him for twenty years. This shows strong internal will and love for only one man, her husband, Odysseus. During this time, many different suitors tried to court her and offered marriage proposals. She shows great wit by prolonging the time needed to find a new suitor. "... she has been deluding the wits of a whole nation. Hopes for all, promises for every man by special messenger- and what she means is quite different." (Homer, 1994-2009) She fools wanting suitors by pretending to weave a burial shroud for Odysseus’s elderly father. She says that she will choose a suitor when she is finished. Every night for three years she undoes part of the shroud. One of the female maids finds this out and tells. The action of the maid showed how bad deeds of women can change the instance of what is going on. When Odysseus came home he posed as a beggar Penelope again shows her strong wits by not falling right to him. She says that she will court with the one who can string Odysseus’s bow and shoot through twelve axe shafts. Obviously, Odysseus is the only one with the skill to do that. She then is still on guard. This again shows that she, as a woman, as intelligence that she still has her guard up, which she should. However, when the bed is ordered to be moved to the wedding chamber and Odysseus says that he knows it cannot be moved. She then has all the information she needs to believe that Odysseus is who he says he is. Calypso and Circe are known more...
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